Recipe for candied pears in mulled wine
I I love these pears, a ready-made pudding because boiling the jar – or processing it in hot water – creates a vacuum seal that preserves the contents for up to a year at room temperature. You can of course freeze the pears (up to six months) or refrigerate them (up to a week) instead. Eat with cream or yogurt.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
A 750 ml jar
- 4-6 pears
- 375 ml red wine
- Port 75 ml (optional)
- 1 slice of a whole orange or two sliced kumquats
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 100g light brown sugar
- 6 small pears, or 4 medium, almost ripe but still firm (about 600g)
- 750ml spring clip storage jar
- Place the wine, port, orange or kumquats, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and sugar in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Peel the pears, leaving the stems. Add to the pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes, turning occasionally to make sure they cook evenly.
- Lower the pears into the jar, squeezing them as tight as possible without damaging them. Pour over the syrup. Wipe the rim of the jar and close it.
- Choose a deep saucepan (one much deeper than your pot) and place a folded tea towel or wire rack in the bottom. Fill with enough water to completely submerge your jar and bring to a boil. If you have an asparagus steamer this works well. Put the pot in the pot, making sure there is at least half an inch of water above the top of the lid. Boil for 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan, then remove gently.
- Try to open the lid of the jar: it should be tightly closed. When you want to eat the pears, pulling on the tab of the rubber seal can release the vacuum, although I often use a round-tipped table knife pushed under the seal to open it.